Posts Tagged ‘Ram’

Paul McCartney had always been one for a homespun album, whether it be his 1970 debut “McCartney”, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard from 2005, or McCartney III, which he recorded in lockdown (or rockdown, as he called it). Last year, McCartney was the first of his albums to receive a half-speed remaster at Abbey Road, which was pressed up for Record Store Day. The Paul McCartney Half-Speed Remaster series continues with the indie favourite “RAM”, due May 14th to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Originally released in May 1971, “RAM” served as the follow-up to Paul’s 1970 debut solo album McCartney. The record was also the only McCartney album to be credited to both Paul and his late wife Linda.

RAM saw Paul and Linda taking to the heart of the country and recording most of the album at his Scotland farm following some traditional tracking sessions in New York. This lo-fi approach practically created the “cottagecore” aesthetic routinely explored by today’s most prominent artists. And it’s said that any indie-pop musician who’s recorded an album out of their bedroom owes something to RAMIndeed, with just one listen to “Dear Boy,” “Ram On,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” or “Back Seat of My Car,” it’s easy to draw the line through four-plus decades of indie-pop sounds.

But it wasn’t just Paul and Linda creating the music. The McCartneys also brought on Denny Seiwell, who’d go on to be part of the first incarnation of Wings, along with many other session musicians. As such, the album not only stands as a great piece of music, but also an important transitional piece in McCartney’s recorded history.

The RAM sessions were completed in early 1971, also yielding the standalone single “Another Day”, a worldwide hit that preceded RAM’s May 1971 release.

RAM’s singular sonic palette was unlike its predecessor—or anything else for that matter—and has grown exponentially in stature and influence over the decades. Critically polarizing at the time, the album was instantly beloved by fans, hitting #1 in the UK and giving Paul his first post-Beatles American #1 single, the GRAMMY-winning Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. In recent years the record has continued to solidify its standing as one of the most loved in Paul’s unparalleled output. Fans and critics alike continue to sing its praises: Rolling Stone has hailed the album as a “masterpiece” and “a grand psychedelic ramble full of divine melodies,” Pitchfork has praised it as “a domestic-bliss album, one of the weirdest, earthiest, and most honest ever made,” and Mojo, perhaps most accurately of all, has deemed RAM “quintessentially McCartney.”

RAM has gone on to become one of the most beloved of McCartney’s albums. Upon its release it was panned by critics, though it reached No. 1on the U.K. Albums Chart and yielded his first post-Beatles No. 1 in the States with the whimsical mini-suite “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.” Now the album has been deemed “quintessentially McCartney,” a career highlight worthy of reappraisal.

For it’s 50th anniversary edition, “RAM” has been pressed from a new master cut at half-speed sourced from the original master tapes at Abbey Road. The LP is available to pre-order now, and will also be available on indie record stores’ shelves on the May 14th release date. 

Paul and Linda McCartney, RAM 

Paul McCartney‘s 1971 album Ram was released as a FIVE disc deluxe edition released May 2012 in the US and UK . The deluxe edition continued the tradition of the 128-page linen-bound book and all audio content is newly remastered.

The second bonus CD will contain 8 numbers, including period outtakes, non-album tracks and b-sides, amongst them fan favourite A Love For You (only officially available – probably in a different mix – on The In-Laws soundtrack from 2003).

The third CD will see the first commercial issue of the mono mix of Ram – previously only a promo-only item at the time of release. Like The Beatles mono albums, this is a unique mix with subtle differences to what can be heard on the standard stereo mix.

The fourth CD will be the Thrillington album. An instrumental/orchestral version of the Ram album recorded in 1971 and produced by McCartney, but not released until 1977 (under the pseudonym of Percy “Thrills” Thrillington). It was reissued on CD in the mid-nineties but again under the same pseudonym. This Ram reissue will mark the first occasion that Thrillington has  been officially released under the McCartney name.

A fifth disc is a DVD. The content looks rather slight (as per the McCartney deluxe edition video content) but will include home movie footage set to various Ram tracks. The biggest Deluxe Edition yet since the McCartney Archive Collection kicked off in October 2010. McCartney II was the previous best with 4 discs.

Paul McCartney / RAM Deluxe Box Set

RAM, originally released in May of 1971, is the only album to be credited to both Paul and Linda McCartney and was Paul’s second post-Beatles LP.  It was overshadowed at the time by the drama of the dissolution of The Beatles, as played out in the world’s media. The album topped the charts hitting #1 in the UK and #2 in the US.  While RAM polarized critics upon its release, music fans and critics alike since have overwhelmingly embraced it, with Rolling Stone, for example, revising their original review up to 4 stars.  Recently RAM has enjoyed even further re-appraisal and acknowledgement including a number of tribute albums.

RAM was written by Paul and Linda, mostly at their Scottish farm on the Mull of Kintyre.  In the autumn of 1970 they flew to New York to start the recording process.  Without a band in place they auditioned and drafted musicians, who included future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken.  
The band completed the album in early 1971 along with non-album tracks ‘Another Day’ and ‘Oh Woman, Oh Why’ which were released together as Paul’s first post-Beatles single ahead of the release of RAM and became a Top 5 global hit.  The multi-disc editions of the RAM reissue include both songs as bonus tracks.  The album also gave Paul his first post-Beatles US number 1 single with ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ and a Grammy win for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.

RAM was also issued in mono with alternate mixes, which were only made available to radio stations at the time.  This version has gone on to become one of the most sought after McCartney collectables.  It will now be commercially available for the first time ever on CD as part of the Deluxe Edition as well as a limited run on vinyl.
1977 saw the release of Thrillington, an instrumental interpretation of RAM, which was originally recorded in 1971 at London’s Abbey Road Studios and was arranged by Richard Hewson.  It was released under the pseudonym Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington, an unknown eccentric socialite who often cropped up in mysterious newspaper classifieds.  In reality Percy was a character devised by Paul and Linda.  The idea behind it was simply to have some fun and the concept of doing a full orchestral album was an ambition long held by Paul.
The additional film content features previously unreleased and exclusive content including the brand-new documentary, “Ramming” narrated by Paul, as well as the original music videos for “Heart Of The Country” and “3 Legs”.
The remastering work was done at Abbey Road using the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles‘ catalogue.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is an album from a long, long time ago, when the world was different.  This is an album that is part of history, it goes back to the wee hills of Scotland where it was formed.  It’s an album called RAM. It reminds me of my hippie days and the free attitude with which it was created.  I hope you’re going to like it, because I do!”Paul McCartney, 2012 The latest album from Paul’s iconic back catalogue to get the deluxe Paul McCartney Archive Collection treatment.
As with the previous releases in the series, Paul has personally overseen every aspect of the project and the result is spectacular.

Paul McCartney / RAM Deluxe Box Set

RAM forms one part of the Paul McCartney archive collection, personally supervised by Paul and newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios. RAM, originally released in May of 1971, is the only album to be credited to both Paul and Linda McCartney. The album topped the charts hitting number one in the UK and number two in the US, and also gave Paul his first post-Beatles US number one single with “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” and a Grammy win for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.

This special edition includes:
• The original 12-track album, remastered at Abbey Road Studios 
• 8 bonus audio tracks
• Remastered mono album (previously unreleased commercially)
• Remastered Thrillington album, the instrumental cover version of RAM originally released under the pseudonym of Percy “Thrills” Thrillington 
• Bonus DVD featuring:
– Ramming (11-minute documentary on the making of RAM)
Heart Of The Country (music video)
3 Legs (music video)
Hey Diddle (Paul & Linda performing the track in Scotland, not used before in its entirety)
– Eat At Home On Tour (4 minute piece using behind the scenes footage from the 1972 European Tour with a live recording of the track Eat At Home from Groningen in Holland)
• All set within a numbered hardbound box containing a 112-page book, 32-page scrapbook, 5 prints in vintage style photographic wallet, 8 full size facsimiles of Paul’s original handwritten lyric sheets and mini photographic book of outtakes from the original album cover photo shoot.
• 24bit 96kHz high resolution audio versions of all 20 songs on the remastered album & bonus audio disc, accessed via a download code inserted on a card within the deluxe edition package.

Ram is a studio album by recording artists Paul and Linda McCartney, released 17th May 1971 on Apple Records.The album was recorded amid Paul McCartney’s legal action in Britain’s High Court to dissolvethe Beatles‘ partnership, following their break-up the year before. The only album credited to the couple, Ram was the second of two albums that McCartney released between quitting the Beatles and forming his own band, Wings. He and Linda recorded it in New York with guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, and future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell. Its release coincided with a period of bitter acrimony between McCartney and his former bandmate John Lennon, who perceived verbal slights in the lyrics to songs such as “Too Many People“.

On release, the album was received negatively by the majority of music critics, although opinion has become more favourable in subsequent decades. A commercial success nonetheless, Ram topped the national albums charts in Britain, the Netherlands and Canada. Three singles were issued from Ram: “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey“, which became McCartney’s first number 1 hit in America, The Back Seat of My Car and Eat at Home. The album was reissued in May 2012.

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a fun song McCartney wrote about his real uncle Albert. The nonsensical lyrics pertain to the happy, sort of crazy things people do when they are in the company of their families. The song is actually relatable to all people who have had enjoyable times with their families – uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc. The joyous feel to “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” struck a chord with people overseas in America. The song quickly reached #1 on the billboard charts very shortly after it was released.

Paul McCartney and his family flew to New York City in October 1970 to begin working on the follow-up to McCartney.

While McCartney had featured him on every instrument, for Ram Paul decided to hold auditions for musicians, bringing some in under the guise of a session to record a commercial jingle. Auditions were held in an attic on 45th Street for three days,[where David Spinozza was tapped for guitar duties, after being asked by Linda, before auditions moved to a basement, where Denny Seiwell was recruited on drums. McCartney later claimed to have found Seiwell “lying on a mattress one day in The Bronx“. Midway through the sessions, Spinozza was replaced by Hugh McCracken when Spinozza became unavailable.

The basic tracks for the album were taped at Columbia’s Studio B from 12th October to 20th November 1970 before the McCartneys returned to their Scottish farm for the Christmas holidays. Work continued at Studio B and A&R Recording Studios, New York, from the second week of January 1971 through to February. Playing guitar or piano and singing at the same time, Paul chose to overdub his bass later on. Although it was a collaborative project, Linda’s vocal duties were mostly limited to singing harmonies and backing Paul, who sang almost all of the lead parts; however, Linda sang co-lead vocals on Long Haired Lady. The New York Philharmonic was brought in by McCartney to play on Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey“, “Long Haired Lady andThe Back Seat of My Car“, as well as the McCartneys’ forthcoming, non-album single Another Day“. Paul and Linda’s daughter, Heather, sang backing vocals on “Monkberry Moon Delight“.

In July 1971, Northern Songs and Maclen Music sued Paul and Linda McCartney for violating an exclusive rights agreement by collaborating on the song Another Day“, released three months before Ram. Although six of the eleven songs on Ram were also co-written with Linda, both parties agreed the issue of royalties for the album could be decided at a later date.The lyrics to Paul McCartney & Wings’ classic “Another Day” which was originally released as a single in 1971, but never appeared on original copies of any album. Re-releases of the album Ram include “Another Day,” but it is also featured on their greatest hits albums. This particular recording came from Wingspan: Hits and History Disc 1

In June 1972, ATV announced that “all differences between them have been amicably settled” and Paul and Linda signed a new seven-year co-publishing contract between ATV and McCartney Music. The sessions also produced songs such as “Dear Friend”, released on Wings debut album, Wild Life (1971), and  Little Woman Love“, as well as tracks featured on Wings’ 1973 album Red Rose Speedway: “Get on the Right Thing“, “Little Lamb Dragonfly” and Big Barn Bed“. It has recently surfaced that “I Lie Around”, issued as the B-side to Wings’ 1973 single “Live and Let Die”, was taped during the sessions. Also recorded was the first incarnation of Seaside Woman“.

The album was mixed at Sound Recorders in Los Angeles. By early 1971, the project was completed, along with “Another Day” and its B-side,Oh Woman, Oh Why“. In addition to the songs released on Ram and the first two Wings albums, McCartney recorded the following tracks during these sessions: “Hey Diddle”, “A Love for You”, “Great Cock and Seagull Race”, “Now Hear This Song of Mine”, “Rode All Night”, “Sunshine Sometime” and “When the Wind Is Blowing”.

In 2009, two tribute albums featuring all of the songs from the album were made available for digital download: